Area wrestling legends Tom Shifflet and Timm Slade were honored at the 25th Annual Upstate New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Banquet on Sunday, September 19th in Syracuse. The Upstate New York Chapter is one of thirty-three National Wrestling Hall of Fame Chapters nationwide with its primary headquarters in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The 2021 banquet was held in honor of the 2020 Hall of Fame Class and other awardees since the banquet was cancelled in 2020.
Tom Shifflet was honored with the Chapters’ Lifetime Service to Wrestling award. Mr. Shifflet is a 1990 graduate of Sweet Home High School who wrestled during the heyday of the Panthers’ program coached by Mr. Joe Shifflet, Tom’s father. Joe Shifflet is an Upstate Chapter Hall of Fame Member as well. Tom Shifflet was a two-time Section VI champion and captured the program’s first and only individual NYS title in 1990.
Collegiately, Mr. Shifflet wrestled at Edinboro University and was a three-time All-American. Professionally, Mr. Shifflet would go on to place at the Olympic Trials, U.S. Nationals, and U.S. World Team Trials before moving into coaching. Tom took on coaching positions at Georgia State University and Cornell before assuming head coaching positions at University of North Carolina-Greensboro and then Hofstra University.
Mr. Slade was honored with the Chapter’s 2020 Outstanding American Award for his service to the sport as both an outstanding athlete, coach, and athletics & educational administrator.
Timm is a 1983 graduate of Iroquois High School wrestling in the powerful Chiefs program coached by Upstate Chapter Hall of Fame member Fred Marcheson. Timm captured a sectional title in 1983 before moving on to wrestle for the legendary coach Don Murray at Brockport State. Timm was a teacher, coach, and athletic director before taking over as Section VI Executive Director from 2009 to 2020. During this time, Mr. Slade oversaw a period of very competitive wrestling in WNY and helped to implement the first Section VI Dual Meet Championship tournaments leading to the NYSPHSAA Dual Meet Championships. Also, Mr. Slade was instrumental in promoting and encouraging wrestling to female athletes in western New York, which now has one of the highest rates of female participation in the sport throughout the state.
“Tom and Timm both embody the missions and goals the the Chapter maintains,” said Upstate Chapter president Carl Koenig. “They have encouraged and inspired wrestlers of both genders to wrestle at all levels of competition. These individuals epitomize the excellence that the chapter has always stood for.”
Mr. Koenig continued, “Tom and Timm were both excellent wrestlers, coaches, and most importantly great human beings. Moreover, their family names will always be etched and preserved in the history of Section VI wrestling. We salute these gentlemen and all that they have accomplished in our great sport.”
Other Hall of Fame inductees include Mitch Clark (Ohio State, Canton HS), Jim Cranfield (Cayuga Community College), Eric Romanino (Beacon HS), Eric D’Arcy (Newark Valley HS), and Mike Fusilli (Ithaca College).
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